The summer is getting hot here in NYC! Sometimes it feels like my Iontophoresis treatments are not working as well, but I am going to attribute that to the heat. My hands have been sweating a lot and I’ve pretty much given up on my feet. My feet sweat terribly but it doesn’t bother me as much because I stopped wearing open toed shoes a couple of years ago, and wear socks or peds with all my shoes. I’ve been able to cut my Iontophoresis treatment time in half! When my fiance is with me, he helps work and monitor the device so I can treat both hands at the same time. 20 minutes of treatment is a lot better than 40 minutes!
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to play with an orchestra at Merkin Hall. During our rehearsal a few hours before the concert, the stage was impossibly hot and humid. The heat made my hands constantly sweat. I had my yellow towel with me, but it wasn’t helping! Every note I played on my flute made my hands feel mushy and like I was breaking my instrument. I knew at that moment that I would not be able to make it through the concert without a towel, but I couldn’t bring my yellow towel on stage. Orchestra members wear all black during performances, so I needed a black towel so it wouldn’t stand out. I actually went to a store between the rehearsal and concert to find a black washcloth. After searching the entire store, the best I could find was a dark blue. I bought it and brought it on stage with me that night. It was helpful, but by that point, the AC was working a lot better and I didn’t need it as much. At least I now own something that I can bring on stage with me in the future. The concert was a huge success and I can’t wait to play with them again!
Hi all! I hope you’re having a great start to August!
Next month, my quintet, Washington Square Winds, and I will be releasing our very first full length album, THEY’RE ALIVE! The official release date is September 7.
With that in mind, I have decided to share some of my music with you today. Francis gave me the idea for this post as he said he was curious what it’s really like to play a musical instrument with HH. He’s a trombonist, himself! I included a video to show you my thought process when I play and how HH affects me.
This video was taken during my graduate flute recital at NYU in 2011. I’m playing Ian Clarke’s The Great Train Race. It has a lot of cool extended techniques like playing 2 notes at the same time, singing and playing, and explosive air attacks. This was before I started Iontophoresis treatment, so I was definitely sweating a lot at this point.
- Another thing I worry about is also related to my appearance. HH typically comes with excessive blushing (as if excessive sweating wasn’t enough). Generally when I’m performing and really nervous, my chest and neck blotch up like crazy!! Amazingly, in this video, you can’t really tell! But as I play, I’m constantly thinking about the audience’s perception of me based on what they see, versus what they hear. In the past, I’ve had people ask me if I was okay after a performance because they saw me blotch up. This bothers me a lot because I don’t want the audience to be concerned about me during my performance. I would rather them just listen and enjoy- no matter what I look like.
- Having sweat on my hands makes it really uncomfortable to play my flute. I’ll be trying to focus on the music while I feel drips of sweat rolling down my arms or starting to feel the pads under the keys get squishy with moisture.
- HH is also uncomfortable because it makes my fingers swell- A LOT! It can be difficult moving my swollen fingers fast when I need them to. You can tell that right around 45 seconds in this video, there’s a difficult fast passage that could have been a lot cleaner! My fingers weren’t just cooperating!
- Sometimes the sweat on my fingers will cause me to slip off the keys too- especially if I’m going fast. At 2:17, it’s barely audible, but my finger slipped on a key and I played a wrong note. I recovered really fast though!
- A clear picture of my mental state is apparent at 2:52. Remember I was playing this without sheet music in front of me. I forgot what came next and paused a little too long!
This was back in 2011, but I still get these same feelings. My philosophy nowadays is: “You love music, so play like you love it. The audience will see this in you and the music will flow more freely”.
I hope you enjoyed listening to some of my music! If you would like to hear more, please ask me about our upcoming CD!
In the meantime, you can check out my flute website: carynfreitag.com
and my quintet’s website: washingtonsquarewinds.org
Thank you for reading,